Banana (leaf) on a plate

Courtesy Ayame Hibachi and Sushi

Few things are more exciting than the Stute’s first issue of the semester, so to match the occasion I thought I’d go somewhere special. For this, I picked Ayame, Hibachi and Sushi, or as I like to call it now, AYUMMY. While I usually only go to Ayame for the lunch special ($13.00 for Maki Three Roll combo), I had never been there at night. In stark contrast to 2 p.m, the place was packed and incredibly alive with the roar of hibachi. To my continued surprise, there are actually small tables aside from the ones next to the window. You learn something new every day.

After doing my time as the designated door closer (the door doesn’t quite shut when people walk through it), we finally got one of the tables next to the hibachi grills, or should I say, Teppanyaki grills. It was around that moment that we sat down that I remembered how much theater goes into Hibachi, as I was quickly reminded by a massive roar of flame and heat on the back of my neck courtesy of the chef behind us. While I would’ve loved to have gotten actual Hibachi, I was on a mission: special rolls.

I had only ever gotten special rolls once in my life, and I was ready to try them all. Reading the three pages worth of rolls, my head was spinning with decisions. An aversion to eel on my friend’s behalf quickly knocked off a lot of choices, and an aversion on my behalf to mango knocked off a few more, but ultimately we settled on a few that sounded more like action movie titles than sushi rolls. Those were the Yellow Dragon, Sweetheart, Playboy, and Crazy Angel rolls.

We received all the rolls in maybe fifteen to twenty minutes, which was much faster than I had expected given how packed the place was. More than that, however, was how BEAUTIFUL our plate was. All the rolls were popping with different colors and different shapes, with a giant banana leaf (I assume) wrapping the display together on a green background. Sushi in general I find very visually appealing, but this one really had me blown away. I couldn’t wait to dig in.

The first roll that I got my hands on was the one I was personally waiting for the most; THE CRAAAAZY ANGEL. Filled with Cajun pepper tuna and asparagus and topped with tuna, yellow tail, salmon, eel, avocado, spicy mayo, wasabi, and eel sauce, I was immensely curious what this roll would taste like. My first bite was everything I had hoped it would be, which was delectably savory, spicy, and creamy, with a hard crunch in the asparagus which gave way to the wonderful textures of the fish towards the end of the bite. This is definitely worth trying.

Going down the line was the Sweetheart. The Sweetheart certainly looked the most romantic, with its almost heart shaped pieces and pink hues, and it certainly felt like cloud 9. The first bite was like biting into a delicious cloud, filled with spicy tune and avocado and covered in spicy pango mayo and tuna salmon.  The whole bite through, the piece remained incredibly soft and begged to be chewed more and more, slowly rising in intensity as the heat of the spices unexpectedly took their full effect on your mouth. I recommend it.

On the back two, the flavors were no less impressive. The Yellow Dragon was more in-line with my established idea of sushi, and it was a delicious execution. The mix of tuna, salmon, and yellow tail came together to provide a savory, luscious core that anchored the crunch wrap, avocado, spicy mayo, and eel sauce and allowed them to play off each other. The Playboy, meanwhile, hit a soft spot in my heart, given that I have always loved shrimp tempura. It was also the best tempura I had ever had, in that it was incredibly crunchy while retaining a soft interior, more so than any other tempura I’ve tried. The spicy tune, avocado, tobiko, spicy mayo, and eel sauce blended into the tempura with each chew, adding more and more flavors to a delicious texture. Both were excellent and deserve attention.

All in all, Ayame, Hibachi and Sushi is one of the top sushi places in Hoboken, and I look forward to coming back for the Hibachi.

Location : 4/5

Food: 4.5/5

Service: 4.5/5

Price: $$$/4